“It was a terrible tragedy for all of us,” said Pell City Mayor Bill Hereford. “We are proud of the way our police and fire department responded. They did everything they could to save the girl.”
St. Clair County Coroner Dennis Russell identified the victim as Desarie Boone, 8, of Cropwell.
Russell said Boone was pronounced dead at St. Vincent’s St. Clair Hospital at 4:43 p.m. Sunday.
Assistant Fire Chief Mike Burdette said the fire department responded to the emergency call at the park at 3:15 p.m.
“A police officer was doing CPR on the little girl when we arrived,” he said.
Hereford commended Pell City Police Cpl. Trey Inman, who administered CPR to the girl until paramedics arrived.
“He had the presence of mind to do the right thing, but to no avail,” Hereford said. “He went above and beyond the call of duty.”
The small girl never regained consciousness and was transported to the hospital where she was pronounced dead.
Authorities say family and friends realized Boone was missing shortly after arriving at the park.
She was located underneath the water.
“It was a terrible day, terrible,” said Harold “Bubba” Edge, the parks and recreation department director.
He said city officials never considered putting lifeguards out at the park, because the city’s park and sports complex have too much shoreline.
Edge said the city is blessed to have public property on Logan Martin Lake, but people need to be careful around the water, especially if they have children.
“There are so many things for kids to do here,” he said. “But you can look up and they are gone, so many things can go wrong so quickly.”
Alabama Marine Police Col. Steve Thompson said there have been five drowning deaths reported to the Alabama Marine Police so far this year.
He said in 2010, there were 30 drowning deaths on Alabama waterways. That number was cut in half last year to 15.
Edge said people can swim at Lakeside Park but do so at
their own risk.
Contact David Atchison at firstname.lastname@example.org.